Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guest Post by Anonymous 2013 BU Graduate- tAnonymous

Editor's note- Guest post that we just got today. If you send us a post at any point during the year, we will post it 99% of the time. Enjoy.

Class of 2013:  “One for the History Books”

I wish I could convince every BU student, faculty member, alumnus, and friend to go to hockey games.  I really do.  To me, college hockey was college.  It’s where I was home, and people didn’t look twice when I told them I booked tickets to Minnesota (a trip that involved a 9 hour layover period and an overnight Megabus ride from Chicago to Minneapolis both ways) on less than a week’s notice for a sporting event. My loud and awkward nature was generally praised in a sports environment, and I had a pretty cool place to bring my parents when they came to visit me that wasn’t my mound of empty bottles that I somehow called a dorm. I know that I’m never going to be able to convince a lot of people to go to games (and if you are already reading this blog you probably don’t need any convincing anyway), but the guys at BSRS are nice enough to let me try anyway.  So here goes nothing.

Instead of working my way through all of my favorite memories from this hockey season, I decided to narrow the work down a bit with a few Top Moments Lists.  I know, it’s kind of corny and Letterman-esque, but I found that it nearly impossible to sum up an entire year of hockey without sounding long winded, ridiculous, and rather cliché at times anyway. So stay with me here.

At the end of the day, I knew I had to write some sort of reflection on my last year in 118!  Maybe this is a justification for my unhealthy obsession with sports.  I’m sure some of you can relate to me there. Even more, people need to know why I tweeted about an unrequited love for Catamounts, why I wear the same BU hat proudly on days that end in “y”, and why my eyes may or may not have teared up a bit during the last minutes of the Merrimack playoff game at Agganis that sent BU to the Garden again.  If you missed any of the classic moments for BU hockey this year, you should really like this.  If you were there for everything I’m about to talk about, then you should show your friends! Show your dog! Show random kids wearing their orientation lanyards! Or not:

Top 5 Most Exhilarating Moments
5. First Things First: After months of waiting around and getting hyped for my senior year, college hockey was finally back with an exhibition game against the University of Toronto.  I can’t lie that I was really impressed with the turn out, and it’s always fun to laugh at all of the freshman who don’t know a hockey stick from a pencil.  The anticipation of starting my first chant of the year was unbearable, and who wasn’t jumping around well before Jim said my 3 favorite words:  “Let’s play hockey!” I’m not sure if throat calluses are a thing, but I remember losing my voice really early in this one. Fun times. The game was a blowout in favor of the Terriers, but I really just remember the thrill of being back and once again seeing faces, old and new, in a sea of scarlet and white.

4. Hardware On Reserve: After losing two games to UNH already, things were getting tense as BU tried to fend off the season sweep in Durham on a Thursday night in early December.  Really tense.  BU had a 3-2 lead going into the last minutes of regulation, and the Dog Pound had already been hearing quite a bit from the locals.  At least the lights were still working at the Whitt.  Luckily, BU found a way to get on the PK for the last minute with a call on Captain Megan.  It was already bad enough, so why not make it more stressful? Keeping the Ole chant to a reasonable tempo was just not an option. Everyone in the entire arena was on their feet, and even the people in that one row of red seats were going crazy.  The UNH student section didn’t even need their signs and cowbells to coordinate cheers.  But somehow Matt O’Connor was able to keep the puck out of the net, and BU sent a frustrated home crowd back to the woods from where they came.  Did I mention that UNH was the number 1 team in the nation for all of 3 days that week?  So much for that run.

3. Remember the Maine: Maine weekend.  We had been waiting for this excursion into the middle of nowhere for months.  We spent time in random discount stores and hotel hallways.  It was time to see some great hockey in one of the most unique rinks in college hockey.  After a less than satisfying tie the night before, the Saturday night game in February seemed to mean so much more to a BU team that could not string wins together. With a 4-1 lead in the third period, and I was feeling pretty good about BU’s lead against the lowly Maine squad.  Led by senior Joey “Demi-god in Orono Only” Diamond, Maine tallied three goals to tie the game in regulation.  The last goal was with an empty net for Maine.  I couldn’t stand to watch another OT in Maine, but even more I knew that I could not handle a tie filled weekend in Maine.  It just wasn’t right.  With 20 seconds left in the OT, Maine pushed their entire team forward and went for one final rush.  After a miracle bounce to O’Regan, I see E-Rod with the puck.  He’s skating down the ice with Nieto on a 2-0. There was only time for one glance at the clock, and I saw that there was about 7 seconds left.  I honestly don’t remember what happened after Nieto finished the deal with 3.8 seconds left, but I do remember the very kind police escort that the Dog Pound received after a few renditions of “Oh When BU”.

2. Worst. Dakota. Ever.: Going to North Dakota was a no question. After the amazing weekend in Minnesota to cap off the previous season of hockey, I was already pumped for my next long away trip.  We were planning this trip for months, and there were honestly threads on threads on threads of information and nonsense.  Calling Grand Forks the vacation destination of a lifetime may be a bit off, but it certainly didn’t matter once we entered the monster that is Ralph Englestad Arena.  Being able to fill a 12,000 person stadium to capacity for a college hockey game is just ridiculous, and the slightly homophobic fans at least knew a thing or two about the game of hockey. The two games were extremely competitive and exciting, and I was on the edge of my seat (they wouldn’t let us stand) from the first firework explosion and rendition of “Chelsea Dagger” (If you don’t know this song by now…you better youtube it quickly). BU lost the first game 4-2, but they made sure to send us fans who were driving back to Minnesota immediately after the game on an accidental victory tour around the entire arena. Lane and O’Regan managed to score back to back goals in 11 seconds to seal the deal for the Terriers, and all was good in the world (except for North Dakota).

1. Because It’s BC: There is absolutely no excuse to miss a BU vs. BC game while you are in college or in the Boston area. But BU vs. BC in the playoffs? Come on now. Playoffs? I knew that doing anything the week before this game was just not going to happen. My boss told me that I wasn’t myself, and I told her to take it up with BC. Before the game, we already had a good feeling that BU would need to win the Hockey East Tournament to get an NCAA bid. Coach Parker had already made it publically known that this was his last season as head coach.  This was Coach’s last chance to beat BC, and  Jerry York was doing his best to win an audition in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  Everything was set for an instant classic at the Garden, and I played through at least 1,000 different ways the game could go in my mind (this is not an exaggeration; see my roommates for confirmation). After I made a huge deal about losing 4 Beanpots during my days as a BU student, this game was really a chance for redemption.
Of course the game started quite abysmally for the Terriers, and I heard afterward that the announcers were all but calling the game for the Eagles after they managed to jump out to a 2 goal lead.  It couldn’t end like this. Why not? Because even if BU failed to miss the NCAA Tournament, it would be exponentially worse if BU once again managed to turtle to BC in a way that was becoming all but second nature to the post 2009 Terriers. Worst of all, if BU failed to beat BC, it would mean that the senior classes around Boston would have seen BC go 15-0 in Hockey East Tournament play. 
Then something strange happened. E-Rod scored after a ridiculous individual effort on his part, and eventually the gears were in motion for a classic hockey game again.  BU scored again and again on their favorite goalie, and the game was soon out of reach for the Eagles.  I had never personally been in a student section as loud as that one was after E-Rod scored again on a cross ice empty net bid.  As one of my friends put it as we triumphantly marched out of the Garden, “This was a whole lot better than any Beanpot!” He was completely right.

Top 3 “Lowest Moments of the Season”
Why bother including a “Lowest Moments”  section? Well luckily BU hockey is about more than just winning championships every season (cue the Championship Caliber Jokes).  To summarize a quote from Coach Parker that will stay with me for a long time, College Hockey isn’t about winning it all every season.  It’s unfair to expect that.  What it’s really about is the process.  The college game is about seeing young talent go out there every weekend and making you proud to have an affinity to your school.  It’s about watching your classmates grow up with you and seeing coaches occasionally turn down NHL offers to prove a point to the world of sports. 
Anyway, there are no ups without some downs, so here are my top 3 downs of the season:

3. LowHell: I knew that this team had our number this year.  I remember sitting in Lowell during the 3rd period of the game at Tsongas and wishing our team could play up to the competitive Riverhawks, but they flat out stymied every effort we through at them. Not even the terribly hilarious “Star Wars Night” could make me feel better after being swept by the class of Hockey East this season.  Of course I never gave up on my team, but I was hoping for a much better weekend of hockey coming off a huge one in Maine.  We just couldn’t beat them.  I’d like to think that I drafted Hellebuyck in the Fantasy College Hockey Draft with the premonition that this team would beat BU 4 times. 
The last loss at the Garden certainly hurt the most because it eliminated BU from the playoffs, ended coach Parker’s career, and became the last game BU game I would watch as a student.  All of that at once, but that last one certainly hurt the most for me.  If the ride hadn’t been so much fun, I certainly wouldn’t have been as let down as I was when it was finally over.   

2. What School Do I Go To? Harvard! Harvard! Harvard:  In complete contrast with Lowell, I knew that Harvard was a team that BU could beat eight out of ten times.  Unfortunately, those two times happened this season. Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect the efforts of a solid Harvard program, but they also went on a 15 game streak where the only team they managed to beat was BU. Come on. This ultimately lost BU a chance at an at large bid in the NCAA Tournament, but what even stung worse was the fact that BU could have easily won both of these games.  There was an OT upset at Agganis that many students missed because it was over the dreaded “Winter Break Dead Zone” time.  At one point BU even had a 3-0 goal lead in this game, and their shot total ended well about the Crimson’s.  I didn’t even make it to the Beanpot consolation game (I know…blasphemy), but again the Terriers blew a lead and managed to not play up to a team that they should have beaten.  If anything, I really hope that the Harvard performances will act as motivation next year when BU travels to the lovely Bright Hockey Center.  If you are a fan of BU hockey, go to this game next season.  You will be able to see the game like you never have before, and you will certainly be heard in a facility that feels like it’s capacity is 1,000 (It’s actually 2,850 according to Wikipedia but I feel like that estimate is a bit generous).

1. BU Invitational Has Been Cancelled:  For decades, BU had dominated the Beanpot. Even the most casual sports fans know about this game.  I go to the dentist and he always asks me if I was at the game.  I talk to BU alumni and they reminisce about their favorite Beanpot memories.  For some nowadays, the game is nothing more than an excuse to get cheap tickets into a game at the Garden.  But for loyal fans of the Boston area schools involved, the game is everything.
I could only manage to get out one heart filled Facebook post the night before the big game against Northeastern, and I knew that history was at stake.  No class at BU had gone 4 years without a Beanpot since like the 50’s, and no one wants to be a part of bad history like that.  The game was ultimately a pretty good game of hockey, and it was not fitting at all that the game deciding goal was scored the way it was (I’m not going to go into details here because it’s just too frustrating).  I sat in the stands after the game and could not believe what I just saw.  History. As the diehard fans left one by one as if it were the end of some movie, I had to believe that there was some good in all of this.  Unlike the girl a few rows away from me bawling over her first Beanpot loss, I had a fairly good feeling that BU needed a spark to change the way things had been in the Post 2009 Championship Era. What better spark for change than making history?

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